For my sister Honeylet who has been with me through every journey. Happy birthday my love.
They say time is what ultimately gives meaning to all things; that we only recognize the importance of something when we look back at it.
When I recently re-read some of my stories in this blog, I realized that I was looking at the disappearance of a whole continent I know I may never touch again - Gossip Girl Birthday Balls, Grand Canyon sunsets and Machu Picchu sunrises, adventures with my sister, red leggings and a harem - in short, the land of my self-absorbed twenties.
So raucous and full of joy, they strike me now as obsessed with loss and nostalgia and the One Big Love that never worked out but wouldn't go away, either.
That life is drifting away from me, an inch at a time. Work is now taking up more and more of my time, some friends have become distant, my sister is getting married in November.
Sometimes I wonder once she's become a wife and a mom, will she still have time for her brother? What about our dreams to explore unknown lands together and see the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Orient Express, the Byzantines churches.
Perhaps those dreams are gone.
While writing my stories, perhaps I was dimly aware that time is passing, that things will change. I didn't want to let go of my past; to forget, to become disengaged, to become disentangled.
I wanted to remember. I wanted to build a shrine to honor it, to give it a mark in my new land. I wanted to mythologize it. This, I think, is one of the great privileges of a writer; to create a myth out of a personal experience.
Some say it is best to burn the bridge and move on; to never look back. But I believe it takes more courage to go back and face our past, both the beautiful and ugly parts of it, and recognize it for what it really was. Perhaps for the very first time.
So without knowing it, I was building my shrine to the slowly vanishing continent of my twenties. Some of that terrain was as gorgeous as the Manila setting where most of them are based; full of shimmering curtains of rain and deeply rooted desires.
Much of it was dark and thick with blinding smog too; some almost impassable. But broken love and dreams deserve a shrine; even if its just a few words and scraps of memories.